The Jal Shakti Minister, noting that water systems are becoming stressed and over half of the world's wetlands have already disappeared, said climate change is altering the weather pattern, all around causing droughts in some areas, while floods in others.
Amidst increased global pressure on dwindling water resources, India has underlined the need to develop resilient systems that provide long-term solutions for sustainable water use. Addressing the “Implementation of the Water-Related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda” meeting, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that water supply and sanitation have to be the center of the global efforts in the journey to achieve the 2030 Agenda. He was quoted in a PTI report saying that around 1.1 billion people lack access to water, with water scarcity being faced by 2.7 billion people for at least one month every year.
The Jal Shakti Minister, noting that water systems are becoming stressed and over half of the world’s wetlands have already disappeared, said climate change is altering the weather pattern, all around causing droughts in some areas, while floods in others. Furthermore, the availability and distribution of water is changed by growing demand, limitation of geography and pollution of water bodies. Shekhawat said rain-water harvesting, water conservation, and water recycling have yielded synergistic results and there is a need to build on them. Besides, there is a need to bridge the gap between water’s accessibility and availability, he said.
The meeting centred around water-related goals’ implementation as well as 2030 Agenda targets, which is the blueprint for a better, more sustainable world. According to the report, Sustainable Development Goal 6 addresses access to water and sanitation specifically. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared the period from 2018 to 2028, the Water Action Decade, which also addresses exacerbated risk of floods and droughts and the increased global pressure on water resources.
The minister further said with 17.7% of the world’s population calling India their home, the demand for water will outpace water availability by two times by the year 2030. He outlined the steps taken by India to achieve SDG-6, particularly the formation of the Ministry of Water Conservation and Management in the year 2019 to address all water-related issues. The Clean India Mission, which was launched in the year 2014, became the biggest sanitation campaign in the world with the development of 110 million toilets in only a period of six years resulting in an open-defecation-free India.
Besides, the Jal Jeevan Mission, a USD 50 billion project has also been launched by the nation to provide safe and piped drinking water to all households by the year 2024. Also, the river Ganga is being cleaned under the National River Conservation Plan, he added.